This morning started out rough. Zoey woke up in the middle of the night; when I went to comfort her she told me to leave because she wanted Daddy. Shepherd woke up earlier than usual this morning (as in, it was still dark), whining about every type of food I offered, yelling at Zoey for looking at him. He should have gone back to bed. He did run upstairs screaming when we turned on a movie that he typically loves--Elf.
I let him stay up there for a while to get it out of his system. That usually works for him. He's like me that way, we need some alone time when we're grouchy.
When I went up to see him, I didn't try to talk to him. Honestly, I knew there was no explanation for why he was feeling or acting that way. He misses his Daddy, life is out of whack, he woke up early and is too young for coffee. I get it.
I decided to try something new. I grabbed a very old, very great book off the shelf. We read about Alexander's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. We read about how things weren't fair for Alexander. How he wanted to move to Australia. We laughed when he got gum in his hair, and when I asked if he was having a terrible day, he said no.
Sometimes when I'm flying solo, I find myself rushing through the nightly routine. Dinner, bathtime, and bedtime all become a blur, and I'm counting down the minutes until I can get downstairs to be alone. Tonight it was different. I was on the other end of the spectrum. As Zoey sang in the bathtub with her color-changing Ariel, I sat back and watched Shepherd "cook" for his stuffed doggies. After Zoey got out of the tub, we turned on Disney music and danced with scarves. "Again! Pleeease just one more time?" Okay, how's three more times? "One more book?" No problem! I think that was the least-stressful bedtime we've had in the past three weeks.
We can't control the current situation, but we can control how we react to it.